He's talented, sure, but he's the football equivalent of a million-dollar arm and a 10-cent head. His claim to fame as an NFL player is his foolish guarantee of a win against New England back in 2007, when the Patriots were on their way to an undefeated regular season.
"We're going to win," Smith said. "Yeah, I can guarantee a win. As long as we come out and do what we got to do. Both sides of the ball are rolling, and if our special teams come through for us, we've got a good chance to win."Following his guarantee, Smith started in place of injured free safety Ryan Clark and proceeded to get torched over the top, which prompted Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to say, "we've played against much better safeties than him," after the game.
There's plenty of untapped talent and potential with Smith -- and he's by all accounts a good person off the field -- he's just completely lost when it comes to the mental aspects of playing football.
During his rookie season, in a 34-3 blowout win against the Carolina Panthers, Smith intercepted a Chris Weinke pass near midfield and proceeded to do a Deion Sanders-like high-step towards the sidelines, running out of bounds when he could have easily picked up an additional 10 yards. As he reached the sidelines, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and head coach Bill Cowher instantly chewed him out.
When asked if he regretted his celebration, Smith said, "Nah, nah. We have fun. That's part of my game. The guys like it. That's what we do. We've got a lot of swag."
That pretty much sums up Smith's career in Pittsburgh. Flashes of the potential that made him a third-round pick, followed by ridiculous displays of immaturity. It was a constant one step forward, two steps back sort of thing.
He rarely played for the Steelers in 2008, and intercepted four passes during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He definitely needs a change of scenery and a fresh start with a new team.